Starting abv

The Homebrew Forum

Help Support The Homebrew Forum:

GazzaW57

Active Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2021
Messages
96
Reaction score
62
Location
Rhondda Valleys
I’ve started a Wilko Merlot kit yesterday, and it’s already bubbling away nicely. However I’m confused re the starting abv. The instructions advise that you only use 1.8 litres of water for the first three days, and then top the demijohn up to 4.5 litres. Looking at the way it’s fermenting, I can see the rationale behind that, but they also advise taking a hydrometer reading prior to adding the yeast. Surely with just 1.8 litres of water in the demijohn, the reading will be abnormally high? i did a reading and it came out at 1.400! It advised adding 450g of brewing sugar, but as I had 500g in one bag, I put it all in. I can’t see 50g making that much of a difference! The instructions advise this should come out around 12%.

I‘m just going to have to let this ferment away, then I’ll bottle it, leave it for 5 to 6 months and try it. If it blows my socks off, I know the 50g made a huge difference.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
3,490
Reaction score
2,415
Location
North Pembs.
Those instructions are rubbish.
Personally I'd get a fermenting bin and use that for the first week of fermentation before transferring to a demijohn (if you must!). That way you can make it up to full volume and take a hydrometer reading, and not have to worry about it bursting out of the top of your DJ.
Wine kits are usually finished in 3 weeks or so. I usually just do the whole fermentation in a fermenting bin.
 

GazzaW57

Active Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2021
Messages
96
Reaction score
62
Location
Rhondda Valleys
I think you’re right and I wish I had used a fermenting bin now, but as it’s already fermenting away in the demijohn, I’m just going to leave it and put it down to experience.

I‘lol do any further kits of this nature in a fermenting bin.

Those instructions are rubbish.
Personally I'd get a fermenting bin and use that for the first week of fermentation before transferring to a demijohn (if you must!). That way you can make it up to full volume and take a hydrometer reading, and not have to worry about it bursting out of the top of your DJ.
Wine kits are usually finished in 3 weeks or so. I usually just do the whole fermentation in a fermenting bin.
 

johncrobinson

Landlord.
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
1,067
Location
Highlands
This is an all to common experience.
Folk have got used to following recipes in exchange for a good deal at the supermarket.

Start out with decent gravity,If something seems wrong For example to low or to high Gravity Question it.
We are here to help.
 

GazzaW57

Active Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2021
Messages
96
Reaction score
62
Location
Rhondda Valleys
Thank you. I’ve not done this kit before, so thought I‘d just follow the instructions. If it comes out as a nice quaffable wine, I‘ll do it differently the next time.
This is an all to common experience.
Folk have got used to following recipes in exchange for a good deal at the supermarket.

Start out with decent gravity,If something seems wrong For example to low or to high Gravity Question it.
We are here to help.
 

Stevieboy

Landlord.
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
739
Reaction score
578
Location
Wimborne, Dorset
I know, and I normally would do that. Its just that on this occasion, I decided to follow the instructions and realised once I’d started it off, that it was impossible to obtain an accurate reading.
I meant the kit instructions were bonkers - not you, !!!! I'm sure it'll be fine in the end...
 
Top